TACOMA, WA – Today Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist charged a Spanaway caregiver for the death of a vulnerable man in his care. Larry John Lee, 50, pleaded not guilty to murder in the second degree and is being held in lieu of $1 million bail.
“Mr. Carter was autistic and developmentally disabled,” said Prosecutor Mark Lindquist. “He deserved proper care, and instead was the victim of criminal mistreatment.”
On May 15, 2015, an ambulance took Philip Carter, 59, to the hospital after his caregiver, Lee, found him unresponsive. Hospital staff treated Carter for several large, deep pressure wounds. They told police it was the worst case of neglect some of them have ever seen. Carter had developed a serious infection from the wounds, which Lee had noticed a week earlier and packed with paper towels. Carter died several hours after arriving at the hospital.
Carter lived at Lee’s residence for the last several years. Lee’s ex-wife was a nurse and they ran a licensed home care business. When she left, Lee failed to obtain a new license, but he continued to care for Carter. Lee received $850 per month to provide care services for Carter, who suffered from autism.
Charges are only allegations and a person is presumed innocent unless he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Communications and Public Information Coordinator
Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office